December 5, 2023

December 5, 2023

The Miner County Board of Commissioners met in regular session on December 5, 2023 in the Miner County Courthouse Commission Room.  Members present:  Alex Protsch, Joe Bechen, Kathy Faber and Mike Clary.  Absent:  Tom Reisch.     Others present for portions of the meeting included Susan Connor, Rebecca Mommaerts, Tami Severson, Jessica Charles, Brittany Yanish, Rob Eggert and Jill Calmus. Chairman Protsch called the meeting to order. The flag pledge was recited.  Motion by Faber, seconded by Bechen and carried to approve the agenda.  The minutes of the November 21st meeting were approved. 

It was moved by Bechen, seconded by Clary and carried to authorize the auditor to pay the following claims:  Alliance $150.00 911 CHARGES; Miner Co Treasurer $50.00 ADMIN EXPENSE; FJM Collections $227.62 COLLECTION FEES; Willoughby Funeral Home $690.00 CORONER EXPENSES; Domestic Violence Network $225.00, Mitchell Area Safehouse $225.00 DOMESTIC ABUSE PAY TO OTHERS; Emergency Safety Education $135.00, Molly Steeneck $175.00 IN SERVICE EDUCATION; Lake Co Sheriff’s Office $1,897.50 PRISONER CARE; Dust-Tex $133.24 RENT; Dakota Fluid Power $486.39, Direct Digital Control $364.50, Office Peeps $174.91, Shane’s Hardware $56.41 REPAIRS; Kristian Ellendorf $900.00 STATE’S ATTY OFFICE EXPENSE; Relx, Inc. $149.00 SUBSCRIPTION; Dakota Data Shred $71.31, Dakota Fluid Power $17.40, Dust-Tex $191.22, K&M Tire $5,765.56, Light and Siren $313.01, Office Peeps $638.73, Tim Reisch $433.33, Rockmount Research $664.55, Rusty’s $112.00, Tami Severson $20.00, Shane’s Hardware $267.72, Sturdevant’s $438.05 SUPPLIES; Alliance $961.40, AT&T $327.02, Susan Connor $30.00, Erin Feldhaus $30.00, Lori Kiehl $30.00, Tami Severson $30.00, Molly Steeneck $30.00, Verizon $97.29, Danielle Werkmeister $30.00 TELEPHONE; City of Howard $2,630.82, Northwestern Energy $473.28 UTILITIES.

During public comment, Jessica Charles and Brittany Yanish came forward to discuss concerns over the 2024 dental insurance.  Meetings will be held on December 12th for benefit-eligible employees to discuss the new insurance benefits.  Also, during public comment, Rob Eggert gave clarification for a purchase of equipment for the Sheriff’s department. 

The commission acknowledge receipt of the following correspondence:  SD DENR-Dawson Restricted Use Site and Miner County Moisture Report.

Clary talked with Cora Schwader about leading the naloxone training, but she felt it fell under a human resources responsibility, since it would also affect new hires.  She would maybe help with the initial trainings, but the paperwork should be filed in the Auditor’s office.  Clary will try to find out what the training entails, and the naloxone policy will be placed on the next agenda   

Ron Krempges gave an update on equipment repairs and purchases for the highway department.  The truck from the Volkswagen Truck Program is projected to be delivered in Sioux Falls in February 2024.  Other areas of work included culvert inspections, blading, hauling gravel, shoulder inspections and shop work.  He asked about using culvert linings as done earlier in the year; the Commissioners instructed him to get estimates. 

Cora Schwader spoke in opposition of the biweekly payroll request, mainly due to the extra workload it would place on her in reviewing timesheets and acquiring signatures of employees, many of whom do not work in the building often, if at all.  Jessica Charles spoke in favor of biweekly payroll, especially with the upcoming MERP health insurance, which may require employees to pay higher copays and wait for reimbursement through the plan.  Brittany Yanish spoke in favor of biweekly payroll, due mostly to the fact that the current payroll structure sometimes has five weeks between paychecks, which can cause a financial strain, especially during December, where the 5-week period often falls.  Due to Mommaerts assuming the role of Auditor in January, the board requested to revisit the discussion in six months.    

Deputy Auditor Rebecca Mommaerts announced she has hired Justin Brandsma as the new Deputy Auditor to replace her position when she becomes Auditor in 2024.  Brandsma will begin training on Monday, December 11th. 

Custodian Lori Kiehl presented information on the contract with Direct Digital Control (DDC).  The contract hours for the year have been used up for the year, but DDC agrees that settings were probably not where they should have been.  Trane made adjustments during their normal service visit in November.  Kyle from DDC said he would review the levels for the next 30 days at no charge.  RTU4 will need to be serviced during Trane's spring service visit.  The contract with DDC is up for renewal February 1st, though the county has the option of renewing sooner to get earlier access to service hours.  Protsch will check in with Kiehl periodically through the month to assess if the adjustments made are working.

4-H Advisor Jill Calmus came to discuss the possibility of hiring a replacement for her office.  She is looking for someone to work 2 days per week normally, with additional hours during achievement days and the state fair.  The CHN contract for 2024 has not been received yet.  Calmus stated she was ok to table the discussion until the county knew more about the future of that position, to allow the possibility of hiring someone as a fulltime employee. 

Motion by Bechen, seconded by Faber and carried to enter into executive session at 10:24am for an employee evaluation (SDCL 1-25-2 (1)).  The board returned to regular session at 10:51am.  It was moved by Clary to increase Lori Kiehl’s salary to $20.38/hour, effective December 5th, seconded by Bechen and passed unanimously. 

Motion by Faber, seconded by Clary and passed to sign the Charles Mix County 2024 Prisoner Housing Agreement. 

Having no further business, Bechen made a motion to adjourn.  Meeting adjourned to December 19th.  Dated this 5th day of December, 2023.


Alex Protsch, Chairman

                                                Miner County Board of Commissioners

Attest:  Rebecca Mommaerts, Miner County Deputy Auditor


Contact Info

Please see department pages for direct contact information.

Physical Address: 

Miner County Courthouse

Park Ave. & Main St

401 N. Main St.

Howard, SD 57349


Office Hours: 

7:30am-12:00pm & 12:30pm-4:00pm

Monday - Friday

(Sheriff/Dispatch Office Open 24/7)